RSPB • Yorkshire and Humber Area, South Pennines

Research Assistants x2 - Twite Recovery Project

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £21622 - £23987 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

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Job Description

We are looking for two Research Assistants to monitor the breeding population of twite in the South Pennines.

What's the role about?

It is estimated that there are less than 20 breeding pairs of twite remaining in England, the majority of which breed in the South Pennines. The England Twite Recovery Project (ETRP) was set up in 2008 and has worked to put in place intervention measures to halt twite declines over the past 14 years. We are looking for two Research Assistants to join the ETRP team to monitor the breeding twite population in the South Pennines to determine whether our intervention work is meeting the projects aim of halting twite declines in England.

Main responsibilities:

• To undertake a full breeding bird survey of the South Pennines twite population across 18 monitoring sites. This will involve surveying all suitable nesting habitats, recording the numbers, locations, and behaviour of all twite, and noting the colour-ring combinations of marked birds. This exercise will be used to estimate the current population status.
• To carry out surveys of twite feeding habitat to determine where twite are feeding and whether they are using the project feeding intervention areas.
• To carry out surveys for potential twite nest predators to increase our understanding of predation pressure of South Pennines twite.
• To make detailed notes of all observations in the field and keep digital records up to date.

What we need from you


• The ideal candidate will have some fieldwork experience as part of a related degree, or 1 season's experience in non-professional bird surveys (e.g. WEBS, BBS)
• Basic skills in the identification of upland birds
• Capable of keeping accurate and legible records of data collected in the field
• Experience of using Microsoft packages and inputting observations into Excel
• Capable of working long hours outside under difficult conditions. Walking long distances over difficult terrain may be required
• Understanding of health and safety risks associated with practical conservation work and working in the uplands
• Ability to navigate using maps, compass and GPS
• Experience of liaising with landholders/partners for good outcomes
• Ability to work under their own initiative with limited supervision and happy to work alone in remote locations.
• Ability to travel to, from, and within remote locations not served by public transport. Candidates must have a full current driving license which is valid for use in the UK


• Ability to identify twite by sight and sound (some training provided)

Additional Information

This is a fixed-term contract working from mid-April - the end of July 2023.

For all application/role enquiries please contact -katrina.aspin@rspb.org.uk

Please note that you will be required to complete an application form where you will have the opportunity to tell us how you meet the criteria set above,

Before applying for this role we would recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to this advert.

Please note that we are actively recruiting for this role and reserve the right to close the advert at any time.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Company benefits

Open to part-time employees
Open to compressed hours
Enhanced maternity leave
Enhanced paternity leave
Adoption leave
Shared parental leave
24 days annual leave + bank holidays
Enhanced sick pay

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First we assess the flexibility options RSPB provides and then we anonymously survey a statistically significant proportion of their employees to make sure RSPB is as flexible as they say they are. Our assessment is based on the six key elements of flexibility: location, hours, autonomy, benefits, role modelling and work-life balance.

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